Notes From a Commuter

So here I sit at Union Station, the very image of the modern urban professional, drinking Starbucxks coffee and tapping away at a keyboard until it’s time to hop on the little shuttle bus to XM. It seems that to make an eight o’clock arrival in the office I’ll be dropping the kids off at daycare at 6:30am just as it opens. This morning I had a house full of tiny people wandering around in their underpants, yawning and blinking and slumping suddenly to the floor for a little rest. I can see that bed time is going to have to move up by a half-hour or so, and not just for them either.

I had a plan to avoid the parking problems at the metro station by taking the kids to daycare then returning home and riding the motorbike the three  miles to the station. However the guaranteed free spot couldn’t make up for the sheer hassle of  changing at home and at the station, and risking bad weather on the way back. It also seems like a false economy to park an unlocked motorcycle outside a metro station all day in order to save $3.75 in parking fees. If I spend a few hundred bucks on a lock and another hard case to store stuff in then I’ll recoup those saved parking fees inside of three years though, so maybe I’ll run up a quick spreadsheet :)

In the end I abandoned that in favour of an unneccessarily early arrival at the metro and hence at Union Station, followed by a couple of swift coffees until I turn up for my first day at a civilised 9:30.

Union station is a pleasant surprise. Shops, architecture and travel all rolled up into one elegant package. Policemen zipping around on Segways give the place a certain panache as well, contrasting nicely with the posters advertising the “Southwest Chief”, the “Empire Builder”, the “California Zephyr” and other evocatively named train routes. I’ll have to remember my camera next time.

Ho hum … another “tall skim latte” for me and I’ll see if I can track down a copy of The Economist. See you later, wage slaves! Oh wait .. that’s me as well.

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5 thoughts on “Notes From a Commuter

  1. at least you don’t have to face the major trafic gridlock i do every morning. no nice easy train ride for me, no sir, it’s full out traffice wars for me.;-)

  2. I always thanks God for giving me the chance to walk to work. It’s great to have the chance of taking a nice, pleasant walk through the city. At least that’s the case almost every day. The nightmare begins when it’s raining or rain the day before, but that doesn’t happen too often here in Mendoza (sun always shines ;) ).

  3. Hi David.

    Glad you are back.

    Same for me here!

    Moved on from big IT to bigger TV company: 25 Kms from home. But always on the bike: no matter rain, wind, cold, hot… That’s what real bikers do ;)

    Good luck!

    Cheers.

    Carlos.

  4. Now that my customer has moved, I’m considering taking the train again. The situation of the train has changed since the last time I tried it, now the Metrolink passes are good for Amtrak, if I’m not mistaken. Metrolink is like hard plastic bus seats with a “headrest” that hits me in the shoulder blades, while Amtrak Surfliner is like airline business class.

    The problem is the station I need is the one past where Amtrak stops. So I have to decide whether to deal with Metrolink and hopefully not-too-inconvenient bus service, or Amtrak, where I would need to leave a vehicle out in the weather overnight. (Taking Amtrak and switching to Metrolink would just take too long, as would bus from Amtrak station). The only extra vehicle I have just now is my 25 year old Vision, and I don’t think I can bear to see how fast it will deteriorate suddenly being outdoors 24/7.

    So I’ll play PHB and make no decision at all for now. Could use a pickup truck…

    I do remember how tough it was not getting off at one of the beach stations…

  5. Hmmmm, I’m back driving, just like Bill.
    And to beat the insane Sydney peak hour I leave home at 6:30. That puts me at my desk at work at around 7:30, after parking hassles and a quick brew.
    The good side is of course I get to leave early. 4pm I’m packing and warming up the engines on the Lear jet. Oh, never mind: Shrek knows what I’m talking about! ;-)

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